Israeli Pharmaceutical Giant Teva May Cut Up to 10,000 Jobs to Ease Debt Crisis, Report

The leading pharmaceutical firm seeks to cut up to $2 billion in costs ■ Teva is saddled with nearly $35 billion in debt after a $40.5 billion acquisition

File photo: An employee of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries watches pill bottles on a conveyor belt at the company's Jerusalem oral solid dosage plant.
REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd is considering cutting up to 10,000 jobs as CEO Kare Schultz seeks to reduce $1.5 billion to $2 billion in costs over the next two years, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

U.S.-listed shares of the debt-laden Israeli drugmaker jumped as much as 7 percent to $16.09 on Friday.

No final decision has been taken, and the targets may be modified, with a range of 5,000 to 10,000 jobs being discussed, Bloomberg reported.

“We don’t comment on market rumors,” Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley said in an emailed statement.

Israeli financial news website Calcalist had reported two weeks ago that the drugmaker would send termination letters to “tens of percent” of its 10,000 employees in the United States.

Schultz, who took over as CEO of the world’s largest maker of generic drugs last month, has ousted the company’s three top division heads.

Teva is saddled with nearly $35 billion in debt after its $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan Plc’s generic drug business last year.

Profits from generics have slumped since that deal closed, and the CEO who engineered the purchase was forced to step down earlier this year.

Teva has about 57,000 employees globally, according to the company’s website.